Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Their 'Bold' Career Leap Pays off for Local Beer Lovers; Microbrewery and Tap Room in Riverside Celebrates First Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Their 'Bold' Career Leap Pays off for Local Beer Lovers; Microbrewery and Tap Room in Riverside Celebrates First Year

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY MARAGHY

After Brian Miller learned about brewing beer at home, he and his friends got really into it and pretty good at it.

"We always joked about starting our own brewery," said 28-year-old Miller of Riverside. "Then work really sucked one day. ... I figure you only live once."

Miller founded Bold City Brewery, which opened a year ago on Oct. 11. The microbrewery and tap room in Riverside has more than 10 brands of beer and distributes to 29 North Florida restaurants and pubs. The beer is sold during Jacksonville Suns games at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

The brewery crafted an original brand beer sold exclusively at European Street Cafe in Riverside.

"It's called Lamp Post Ale. We came up with the recipe and had a contest among our customers to name it," said Andy Zarka, co-owner of European Street. "We were happy to team up with someone local who can produce a quality product that we are proud to serve. It sells well."

Miller recruited his mom, Susan Miller, to be his business partner. The two worked in the information technology division of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, where's Miller's father, John Miller, has worked 35 years and still does.

"We are a Blue Cross Blue Shield family," said Susan Miller, adding that she and her husband mortgaged their Avondale home to provide start-up money.

Susan Miller said she feared putting her retirement on the line, but she said she felt her charismatic, disciplined son seemed to know what he was doing.

Brian Miller's friend Cody Cassidey works as assistant brewer. Both graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.

"This is the best job I've ever had," Cassidey said while stirring grain and water with what looked like a boat oar.

The goal, Susan Miller said, is to bring the rest of the family on board.

Brian Miller's sister Jennifer Boccio, who runs a home day care, serves as part-time restaurant liaison and tap room worker. …

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